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Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

SOLVED
Conversationalist

Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

Hello to all,

 

Can somebody please tell me what is the max number of clients that can be connected to the MR84 access-point?

Thanks in advance!

 

 

BR,

Adis

1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Highlighted
Meraki Employee

Re: Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

That is correct, it's fairly standard to use 5GHz as the backhaul link and 2.4GHz to serve clients. And if you're going to have a lot of those mesh repeater APs you might consider the MR74, better suited for that purpose, since the MR84 is a dual-band 4x4 AP, where the MR74 is dual band 2x2 so it's all you need to have a 5GHz backhaul/mesh link and 2.4GHz omnis serving local clients. Just try to follow the rule of wired connections for as many APs as possible - wired when you can, mesh repeater only when you must., and try to keep the mesh link to 1 wireless mesh hop if possible, try to avoid 2+ wireless mesh hops, since every repeater roughly cuts performance in half. Are you working with a Meraki sales team or Partner sales team? There's a lot of planning for outdoor mesh, so I'd suggest reviewing some of the docs, if you simply go to the documentation and do a search on "mesh" you'll see about a half-dozen short articles to review. Check here: https://documentation.meraki.com/Special:Search?path=&q=mesh Hope that helps!
6 REPLIES 6
Meraki Employee

Re: Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

The only answer is "it depends" and it could be 50, 100, 200 or more.  It varies greatly based on client capabilities and what applications are in use, and what the RF conditions look like.  No two deployments will ever be exactly the same.  One of the critical figures of merit in wifi is "duty cycle" (channel utilization), and what drives the channel utilization is directly related to what apps the clients are using (data vs voice vs video vs mix, etc) and what are the capabilities of those clients (a/b/g/n/ac technology, channel width, supported data rates, etc) and also the RF conditions, because if there's a higher noise floor in the environment then clients will have a worse signal to noise ratio and have to use slower data rates.  Lots of variables.

 

The real first step is always a site survey, but when it comes to estimating clients per AP, as a first step, figure out the types of client devices and the primary applications, and determine what the airtime consumption should be on a per-client basis, and from that you can do a back-of-the-napkin estimate on # of clients per AP.  For example, just hypothetical, a 1x1 smartphone on a 20MHz channel might end up with a sustained max TCP throughput of 50Mbps, but a 2x2 tablet on a 40MHz channel might get 250Mbps.  Just hypothetical, but the point is, that 1x1 smartphone could have 5X the amount of airtime consumption.  Figure this out for the different types of devices and their capabilities and what application is in use (like 2Mbps video streaming or whatever) and for a mix of devices, your answer will be somewhere in between.

 

If you can estimate the amount of airtime consumption per device, then look at the bandwidth requirement and divide.  Using the 2Mbps application requirement above, and say we're talking 50Mbps per device, 2/50 = 4% airtime consumption.  Since we would consider an AP "maxed out" at, say, 80%, we divide 80 by 4 = 20 smartphones.  But for those tablets at 250Mbps, we're talking 0.8% airtime consumption and 80/0.8 = 100 tablets on an AP.  

 

Note, this is on a single radio, with a completely consistent mix of clients.  Your mileage WILL vary.  And there will always be a mix of clients, and your answer will lie in the middle ground.  There's more to it, but there's a quick & dirty type of estimate.

 

Here to help

Re: Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

Do you know if there is a client cap in the AP software?
Meraki Employee

Re: Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

Yes, it should be a firmware limitation of 128 clients per radio, so 256 clients per AP.  Note that is far beyond the number of clients that SHOULD be simultaneously connected to have anything resembling an acceptable user experience, because none of the wireless users will be happy when there's 200+ clients on a single AP.  It's not really a hardware limitation so much, it's really just physics.  So while 128 clients per radio may be an arbitrary firmware limit, that's beyond the practical / usable limit anyway.

 

Conversationalist

Re: Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

Hi there guys,

 

First of all - thank you for such prompt and detailed explanation.

I am a rookie when comes to wifi and Meraki and now I am in the preparing phase of the project where I need to deploy an outdoor hot spot solution in the urban area - parks, town squares, zoo, etc. And to do a proper planning I am trying to collect as more information about equipment capacity. Regarding to MerakiDave post and official Meraki documentation number of supported clients is 128 per radio (two radio interfaces 2,4 and 5Ghz) and please correct me if I am wrong if I use a 5 GHz radio for point-to-multi point connection between a gateway and repeater access-points  I have left only one radio (2,4 GHz) and theoretically 128 clients will be able to connect to that radio?  If that so I will have to implement more access-points per location and that will significantly increase the overall cost.

But I have to say that I am really impressed with the Meraki solution and dashboard capabilities and hopefully the customer will accept an offer and I will be able to play with Meraki toys! Thank you all for the help and support!

 

Highlighted
Meraki Employee

Re: Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

That is correct, it's fairly standard to use 5GHz as the backhaul link and 2.4GHz to serve clients. And if you're going to have a lot of those mesh repeater APs you might consider the MR74, better suited for that purpose, since the MR84 is a dual-band 4x4 AP, where the MR74 is dual band 2x2 so it's all you need to have a 5GHz backhaul/mesh link and 2.4GHz omnis serving local clients. Just try to follow the rule of wired connections for as many APs as possible - wired when you can, mesh repeater only when you must., and try to keep the mesh link to 1 wireless mesh hop if possible, try to avoid 2+ wireless mesh hops, since every repeater roughly cuts performance in half. Are you working with a Meraki sales team or Partner sales team? There's a lot of planning for outdoor mesh, so I'd suggest reviewing some of the docs, if you simply go to the documentation and do a search on "mesh" you'll see about a half-dozen short articles to review. Check here: https://documentation.meraki.com/Special:Search?path=&q=mesh Hope that helps!
Conversationalist

Re: Maximum number of clients on MR84 access-point

Hi Dave,

 

Thank you so much for such a detailed explanation and advice.

Regarding your question about working with the Meraki sales team or Partner sales team - Well, we are (Verso d.o.o.) a Cisco Gold Partner and working closely with local Cisco office (Sarajevo). I did not contact the Meraki sales team, but will ask our sales manager to get in touch with them. Also, thank you for sharing this link where I have found a lot of useful information.

 

BR,

Adis Cato

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